Begetting the Poets -Paul m. Strohm

Illustration by Delna Abraham
Illustration by Delna Abraham

The book of the generation of John Asberry, the son of Auden, the son of En-hedo-Ana.

En-hedo-Ana begat Sappho; and Sappho begat Aeschylus; and Aeschylus begat Virgil and his brethren;

And Virgil begat Li Po and Lady Ch’ing; and Lady Ch’ing begat Jalal-ai din Rumi; Jalal-ai din Rumi begat Dante;

And Dante begat Thomas Wyatt; and Thomas Wyatt begat Philip Sydney; and Philip Sydney begat Shakespeare;

And Shakespeare begat John Donne; and John Donne begat Matsuo Basho; and Matsuo Basho begat John Milton;

And John Milton begat Utkala Mani; and Utkala Mani begat David the King who begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Uriah;

And Solomon begat Robert Burns; and Robert Burns begat Elizabeth Barrett Browning; and Elizabeth Barrett Browning begat Walt Whitman;

And Walt Whitman begat Emily Dickinson; and Emily Dickinson begat Gerald Manley Hopkins; and Gerald Manley Hopkins begat Rabindranath Tagore;

And Rabindranath Tagore begat William Butler Yeats; and William Butler Yeats begat Robert Frost; and Robert Frost begat Yosano Akiko;

And Ranier Maria Rilke begat T. S. Eliot and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to England;

And Tarapada Roy begat Wallace Stevens; and Wallace Stevens begat William Carlos Williams; and William Carlos Williams begat Ranier Maria Rilke;

And after they were brought to Modernity, Ranier Maria Rilke begat Anna Akhmatova; and Anna Akhmatova begat Langston Hughes;

And Langston Hughes begat Pablo Neruda; and Pablo Neruda begat Rimbaud; and Rimbaud begat Philip Larking;

And Philip Laring begat Sylvia Plath; and Sylvia Plath begat Czeslaw Milosz; and Czeslaw Milosz begat Delmore Schwartz;

And Delmore Schwartz begat Dylan Thomas; and Dylan Thomas begat Robert Lowell; and Robert Lowell begat Hart Crane;

And Hart Crane begat W.H. Auden the friend of Stephen Spender, of whom was born John Ashbery, who is called Blessed.

So all the generations from En-hedo- Ana to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into England are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into England unto the Blessed are fourteen generations.

Paul m. Strohm is a freelance journalist working in Houston, Texas.
His poems have appeared in, the Berkeley Poets
Cooperative, The Lake, WiND, and other literary outlets.  His first
collection of poems entitled Closed On Sunday is scheduled to be
published in late 2014 by the Wellhead Press.  He worked at the
Humanities Research Center at UT-Austin cataloging the
correspondence of D.H. Lawrence.  If he had to count the number
of times D. H. wrote that imaginative  line, “ Dear ____. How are you?”
he would never read Lady Chatterley’s Lover again.

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